How the little things matter in the recruiting process to coaches in the battle for an athletic scholarship

I have harped for quite sometime about how college coaches do a great job narrowing down their recruiting databases and eventually finding recruits that can fit their system.  These coaches cut through the thousands of athletes to eventually get to only a small number in any sport that deserve a scholarship offer.  But what makes it difficult is when the college coaches believe that there are two athletes with very similar abilities.

I found one article recently that had another great story with a college coach may determine who ends up getting the scholarship offer.  As I talked about before, I know a Division I college basketball coach that ended up offering a small school prospect because he knew that the athlete work up every morning at 5 AM and lifted before school.  This showed the work ethic that this athlete had and helped him land a major Division I scholarship offer.

Here is a story that former Ohio State football coach Bill Conley shared with an audience recently regarding the football recruiting process for the Buckeyes.  For those that have followed college football, there is no doubt that The Ohio State has a wide recruiting base and has been able to land excellent recruiting class after excellent recruiting class.  Here is what Conley did with a tough decision about which recruit to offer.

“One year at Ohio State, we had one scholarship left for a defensive player.  We were looking at one guy from a big high school in the Pittsburgh area, one from the Cleveland area and another from a little, tiny school in western Ohio.  They were all pretty close, and we looked at a lot of tape on all of them. One night around midnight, I was watching film and I noticed something about the kid from the small school. His team was in a game that was a blow out, like 36-6, 36-7, something like that. It was late in the game, and this guy was still playing hard, even though the game was over.

After the other team had scored, he got through the line and blocked the extra point. It didn’t affect the outcome one way or another, but it impressed me how he was still playing at a high level. That’s the kid we wound up signing, and he wound up being a member of our 2002 National Championship team,” he said.

The article didn’t specify if the player that they were they were recruiting ended up doing anything positive for the Buckeyes.  But here is a small school athlete who kept working and was always battling.  It didn’t matter the school.  He still wanted to do whatever he could to help his team win.

This is why college coaches request full game tape.  Any football recruit can make themselves look outstanding in the highlights.  The question they are looking for is what is the athlete doing if the ball is not coming their way?  Are they just jogging through the route and not taking it very serious?  As small as this is, it really can determine if State University ends up offering you a scholarship.  The smallest things make the biggest differences in the recruiting process.

Keep this article into consideration before your next high school season.  Could a little play I take off at the end of the game be the different between a scholarship offer and walking on?

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